Pushkar was loud, crowded, full of camels, and the favourite day so far!
The journey from Jaipur to Pushkar was only a few hours, and we had a great hostel booked (“Zostel”), complete with pool and super chill rooftop terrace. Although Pushkar was incredibly busy due to the 5 day long camel and livestock fair, it’s normally a place for pilgrimage, and so there was an underlying peacefulness that we’d not seen so far in India. For the first time we were able to walk from our hostel to the market place without being hounded by rickshaw drivers. I never thought I would be so happy to just walk along a dirt track!
We first headed to Pushkar Lake, a place of pilgrimage for Hindus. The lake is surrounded by 52 ghats (stone steps), from which people go to take a sacred bath. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get any photos, as it’s currently Kartik Poornima, a holy festival, and so photography was of course prohibited. But it was nice to witness such a special event. The lake is set in the centre of the town, and is surrounded by beautiful markets. Both of us were reeeally struggling not to buy all of the amazing textiles and jewellery we kept passing, India is already proving to be a really tough place to control our shopaholic tendencies! Luckily the streets were so full of people that it was nearly impossible to stop and have a proper look. Stopping meant being immediately faced with a lot of irritated Indian women who’d suddenly walked into you, so a pretty effective way to prevent our purses being used too frequently.
After being swept along in the crowd for ages we finally made it out of the market area and found ourselves looking at what was basically, just a slightly dustier, and more rickety looking version of the fairs back home. Complete with the exact same tiger stuffed-toys you can win on a shooting game at St Giles fair. However, what you don’t see at St Giles, is an arena filled with brightly decorated camels. There were so many, it’s quite alarming when you suddenly realise you’re stuck in the path of two camels, and find yourself sandwiched between them! We’d unfortunately missed the main events for the day, such as camel racing, but it was an experience anyway! To top off an already great day, we spent the evening enjoying a delicious thali, whilst watching the super moon from the hostel rooftop. We ❤ Pushkar.
A & K